The Cherubini line of yachts has a long history beginning with the father, Leon, a musician, cabinetmaker and builder of boats. His son, John, started building and racing boats, studied engineering, served with honors in World War II and then came home to start experimenting with various ideas with his brothers. In 1953 they started the Sea Scamp line which closed in 1964 rather than switch from wood to the fiberglass introduced by their competition. Frit and John Cherubini reopened the business in 1974. With the new business booming, the shop moved to larger facilities in Delran, New Jersey. John continued designing yachts until his death in 1983. When Frit retired, his son, Lee continued operating the Cherubini Boat Company.
Then the 1990 luxury tax decimated the yacht-building industry. In an effort to survive, Lee began producing trawlers and formed the Independence-Cherubini Company with designer Gary Grant and James Backus who had already built Hans Christian trawlers in Taiwan prior to moving their production to the United States in 1996. In contrast to the Cherubini’s former resistance to the use of fiberglass, the Cherubini trawlers were made with fiberglass hulls. The interiors, however, continued the family tradition of hand-made wood carpentry.
Today the Independence Cherubini company has again closed. Gary Grant has a company called Advanced Maritime Systems which works on used trawlers and continues to design other models of yachts. Another family member, Dave Cherubini, had reopened the family business as Cherubini Yachts but links to his website are no longer active.
With all the attention to design and craftsmanship, it is no surprise that the Independence Cherubini Yachts still go for a good price on the resale market. The trawlers measure either 45’ or 50’ and all include a multitude of high-tech equipment, a full range of appliances for every possible comfort and two bedrooms with two heads and a shower. Prices range from as little as $300,000 for a 250 horsepower single engine 45 foot model to as much as $950,000 for a 50 foot model with two 370 horsepower engines.
- The Cherubini name is well respected in the boating magazines.
- The fiberglass hull and exterior deck have proven to be sturdy and safe.
- The living quarters are well-designed, comfortable and beautifully finished.
- Lots of attention has been given to state-of-the-art equipment, sound isolation and efficiency for prolonged cruises in perfect comfort.
- The company’s instability might cause some buyers to worry about future maintenance.
- Since no new models are currently being produced, the available models for sale are all from 2003 or older.
- In spite of the excellent craftsmanship, many customers are reluctant to spend a half a million to almost a million dollars for a used boat.
45 Hans Christian Independence Trawler, 45 Hans Christian Independence Cherubini, 45 Independence Cherubini, 50 Independence Cherubini.
The small yacht industry continues to be a shaky business venture in the United States but the Independence Cherubini Yachts have proven that American designers and builders can give as much attention to function, efficiency and style as their European competitors. The Independence Cherubini Yachts continue to do well on the market for customers who are looking for a calm, quiet and comfortable home on the many rivers and coastal waters of the United States.